Hebrews 12 1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! (The Message)
Interesting while you read this guest post, I will be traveling to attend a wedding in Texas. I hesitated publishing it as I didn't yet see the miracle in Sarah's waiting for the restoration in her marriage. I told her we would wait to see what God would do. Then, as I prayed for her , I heard these words "The testimony is this~ God's unfailing love..."
In a dark world my friend Sarah is leading the way for other new brides to stand fast in the faith~she is keeping her eyes on Jesus and running the race set before her.
I have known Sarah since she was a little girl. She has blessed me over the years with her passion for others and her love for God and family. As she has walked through the fiery trial of betrayal and marital challenges, I have watched her faith deepen and become more "real." Hopefully, you too will be encouraged as you read of her struggles and the wisdom that she has acquired by staying strong in the Lord through her time in the fire. It's a privilege and an honor that she has allowed me to share her deepest heart here. Thank you sweet Sarah, may God bless your efforts over and above all that you have dreamed and imagined.
Meet beautiful Sarah ~
Sarah Elizabeth Lumpp is a 26 year old "something-nothing" and proud of it. Although she currently works as a Central Sterile Technician at a hospital in Roanoke VA, her real passion is writing, performing, and being creative. She attended a year of community college before entering the work force full time and has yet to discover what practical thing she wants to be when "she grows up." Being the youngest of 5 children, she is blessed with 3 nephews and 3 nieces, all of whom bring her great joy. Sarah is a believer in Jesus Christ.
To understand the motivation of her writing, you need to know the story of her marriage. Sarah met Shane at the end of a very unhealthy relationship. She was hesitant to get to know Shane because she knew her heart was not ready for another relationship. For almost an entire year, he gently pursued her and showed her a love unlike any she had known. He re-opened her eyes to what the love of God looks like. They began dating and were married within a year. A few months into their marriage, Sarah realized it was in trouble. Shane had grown distant and cold, and she had allowed her heart to be wooed by another, though there was no physical affair the emotions were real enough. Convicted by this betrayal, she told Shane, but also found out that he had been involved in an affair at the same time. The marriage fell apart, and Sarah sought after God's heart and will whether to stay and try to see the relationship restored or move on. God firmly impressed upon her heart to stay, and show His love to her husband. Nine months of a broken heart passed. Shane decided to move out on his own and Sarah returned to her parents home. Many times they went back and forth about continuing their marriage, Shane would want to try again, then change his mind. Eleven months later, news came that the other woman involved with Shane was pregnant. Still God called Sarah to stay even when Shane asked again for a divorce. Over the course of the next year, his affair continued and he ran away to a different city to escape the problems. Still God called Sarah to be faithful and show her husband God's love. The struggle and heartbreak are still on going, but God's love and grace have been enough to carry a breaking heart and to keep it filled with love.
My heart has longed for the impossible, been betrayed, experienced horrible loss, dreamt of what could be, shattered into more pieces then could ever be reclaimed, and felt life slowly leeching away, and yet... a heart I still have. And yet, I still love. The world has questioned why, laughed even, at the irrationality of it all, but still, I love. Anger, hatred, and despair have tried to overtake the soft determined pulses that send life coursing through my being. How it is that I live and love, is by grace alone. I do not understand it and some days I hope against it, but it cannot be changed. For I am protected and loved by a perfect and unchanging Love. One that holds my breaking heart gently in scarred hands. The pain that has risen inside could have destroyed me and turned my heart to stone. It began to burn away, but these Holy Hands have transformed the ashes back into life, back into love. To you it may seem unwise, but I cannot help but follow. How could I turn away from the only love that heals the brokenhearted? I know that more heartache is yet to come, and my desire to protect what remains tells me to run. But run to what? There is no hope for my heart if I do not follow where He leads. My heart was fashioned after His, He knows what it can bear. A heart that follows after His strives for what seems impossible, hopes when all is lost, believes in what may never be, remains though it has been shattered, beats until life is gone, and knows that it is safe even should the worst befall.